Hospital Systems and Kent Co. Health Department Work Together to Prepare for COVID-19
Officials from the Kent County Health Department, Mercy Health, Metro Health – University of Michigan and Spectrum Health are in contact with each other, as well as state and federal agencies, to coordinate preparedness efforts for COVID-19 in West Michigan.
The three health systems have implemented healthy visitor restrictions, which encourage community members to stay home when they are sick and wait until they are healthy to visit.
All three area health systems, as well as the health department, are also encouraging community members and employees to practice good hand and respiratory hygiene at all times.
Each organization stresses that staying home when you are sick and washing your hands often are the most effective ways to prevent the spread of COVID-19, the flu and other communicable diseases. They also encourage everyone to cover their cough, clean frequently touched surfaces often with a sanitizing wipe or cleanser and avoid close contact with people who are sick. People should also avoid touching their eyes, nose and mouth and should stay home from work, school or social gatherings when they are sick.
Symptoms of COVID-19 may be mild or severe and include:
- Shortness of breath
If you are experiencing symptoms, officials recommend that you call your health care provider and advise them if you have been in close contact with a person known to have COVID-19 or you have recently traveled from an area with widespread or ongoing community spread of COVID-19.
Officials, including the CDC, also recommend using remote tools for an initial medical consultation because you can use them without leaving your home and potentially exposing other community members. Metro Health – University of Michigan Hospital offers e-visits through its MyChart patient portal. Spectrum Health offers telehealth services statewide through its Spectrum Health Now app which is available for free in the Apple app store or Google Play Store.